Emily, my 15 year old dog had to be put down on Thursday and my wet eyes hardly let me type.
Emily was first seen in a downtown Phoenix construction site when she was a tiny puppy about to be run over by a backing bulldozer. The woman who found her picked her up and gave her to a friend who brought her to me.
While still a puppy she became the queen of Sonoran News and snoozed on the desks of employees.
At home she met an Australian cattle dog named Sadie. They were both rough and played constantly. Emily still had puncture marks on her ears from their ongoing romps. When Sadie would lose she would jump on my lap to escape.
Sadie was a small dog and Emily soon outgrew her.
Before relative size became a problem, Sadie was running at full speed in the driveway and collided with our golf cart, broke her spine and had to be put down.
Emily was despondent when Sadie was no longer around as her playmate. Just in time we were given a kitten named Charles Matthew.
Emily and Charles Matthew became regular playmates and jointly loved to get mice in play. Charles Matthew loved Shari Jo and would sit or stand in front of her on the counter or a table, put one paw on each cheek and lick her face. Disaster struck again when Charles Matthew developed inoperable cancer and died.
Emily learned to live alone but would use every chance to be close to me. She would hug my legs and put her butt against my chair so I couldn’t move without her knowing it. She followed me wherever I went.
She had an unbelievable sixth sense when it came to knowing people. There were three handymen that did various jobs on the ranch. In each case she growled, bristled and backed up when she met them. In time we found one was mentally unbalanced, another was a serious druggy and the third was a fraud. To everyone else she was friendly and welcoming.
We discovered she was self-trained about snakes. She would bark a certain way and stand off to give me time to tie her up and dispatch the snake. She loved running in the courtyard and supervising us while in the pool. In her later years, Emily had the run of our property but never went beyond it.
Just by behavior and appearance veterinarians often assessed her “mix” as German Shepherd, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Pit Bull and Chow.
Veterinarians usually called her a shepherd mix because of hostile treatment of Pit Bulls due to their reputation for biting.
Coming from South Phoenix it is no surprise she is a variable breed dog.
Emily’s diets varied over the years. When she was young she mostly got canned chicken or beef dog food. When she got tired of that food we found varying it was useful. We bought raw beef, chicken and turkey.
My daughter Dawn sent me a British/Australian formulation for older dogs called Vivitonin. The Vivitonin had a remarkable effect in making Emily act like a younger version of herself. Because Emily had allergies we gave her Benadryl. Since both of these were pills, we first used various flavors of cat food to disguise them until she tired of that, went to Braunschweiger and then back and forth.
The older Emily got the pickier she became.
Also as she aged her gait became older, of course.
On May 25, Emily couldn’t get up and she was whining in pain. Shari Jo and I agreed that at age 15 it was time.
Fortunately I have a veterinarian friend named Doug Sysel. When I first met Doug he had three veterinarian clinics and had built a beautiful log home in Colorado. He started an elk hunting business and I spent several seasons hunting Elk with him and big league baseball players who were invited guests.
We lost track of each other until not long ago when he dropped by to tell me he had started a home care business for veterinarian patients. He agreed to come and evaluate Emily later that morning.
Shari Jo agreed to take care of the situation as I was distraught over the pending death of Emily who was my loyal loving friend for 15 years. I introduced Doug and Shari Jo and left, at Shari Jo’s suggestion.
Apparently Emily wagged her tail upon seeing Doug and allowed him to pet her. First Doug put her to sleep and after 5 minutes of deep sleep, painlessly finished her life. Shari Jo removed all evidence of her existence so I wouldn’t see constant visual reminders. But it hasn’t worked, she floods my mind. She is still here in spirit.
I am a student of Psychic Edgar Cayce who claimed dogs have group souls. He once told a story about a woman who had a pet lion in Egypt eons ago and had a pet dog that incarnated from the lion.
I spoke of these things at the hunt camp in Florida and was challenged by my southern friend Jim Sewell. While drinking adult beverages he related the Cayce story and then said, “My dream of an existence in heaven is to be surrounded by all my hunting dogs.”
Now I see what he was driving at; that would be heaven.